GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 29, 2009) - Following a weekend of educational opportunities and three competitive matches for each team at the first-ever U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs, 16 teams have clinched a spot to travel to Academy Finals Week for even more specialized educational programming for elite youth players and the chance to be crowned champion.
Eight teams from each age group will face off at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., during Finals Week from July 10-17. The teams will all play on the fields used by the U.S. National Team Programs, including the Men's National Team. To advance to finals week, the 16 teams below finished atop a four-team group at the Academy Playoffs.
Of the 64 teams that competed for 16 places at the 2008-09 Development Academy Finals Week, 14 clinched on the final match day. Carmel United SC U-17/18 and Real Colorado U-17/18 were the only two teams to secure a place at the Finals Week after the second day of matches, winning Group C and Group F, respectively.
The other group winners in the U-17/18 age group were Dallas Texans (Group A), FC Greater Boston (Group B), IMG Academies (Group D), CASL Chelsea FC Academy (Group E), PDA (Group G) and D.C. United (Group H).
In the U-15/16 age group, group winners and Academy Finals Week participants are Derby County Wolves (Group A), New York Red Bulls (Group B), Chicago Magic AS Monaco (Group C), FC Dallas (Group D), Cal Odyssey (Group E), Washington Premier (Group F), PDA (Group G) and Greensboro Youth Soccer (Group H).
2009 Development Academy Finals Week Groups
|Group 1||Group 1|
|Chicago Magic AS Monaco||Carmel United SC|
|Derby County Wolves||Dallas Texans|
|FC Dallas||FC Greater Boston|
|New York Red Bulls||IMG Soccer Academy|
|Group 2||Group 2|
|Cal Odyssey||CASL Chelsea FC Academy|
|Greensboro Youth Soccer||D.C. United|
|Washington Premier FC||Real Colorado|
Each group will face off in a round-robin format, with the group winners facing off for the national championship. Second place teams will meet for a third place match, following down into a seventh place match between the two fourth place teams from each group.
The Development Academy playoff system was created to add to the number of meaningful games for Academy athletes, further enhancing the player development process. Since its launch in the fall of 2007, the Academy has improved the training environment, provided relevant, high-level matches on a consistent basis, increased the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams and provided players, coaches and referees with structured programming.